Helping Articles

How to choose and ID Card Printer

Everyday our salespeople help people decide which printer they need. Over the years, they have found that 6 questions will narrow down choices to a reasonable number. Try asking yourself these questions and you can narrow down your choices.

1- Do you want to print Color or Monochrome cards?
With a color printer you can create a beautiful full color card with a photo-realistic picture of the card holder. You are also paying for 4 panels of colors and spending the time to print 4 or 5 panels (YMCKO). Monochrome printing is much quicker and cheaper because on panel is printed on each card. The average monochorme print is about 5 seconds per card.

2- Do you need to print on both sides of the card?
With a dual-sided printer you can add information to the back side of your cards, like contact information, return to sender, emergency numbers, etc. The downside is time and cost. Each card has to be flipped (automatically) and then printed.

3- How secure do your cards need to be?
The current push is to make cards as secure as possible. A grocery-store membership card doesn't need to be very secure, but a restricted area in a corporate research area might be very high security. You can add features like security laminates, UV ink, microprinting, mag stripes and smart chips encoded with biometric information. Check out card security features to see what you can add to your cards. Once you've decided which features you need you can choose the printer that can provide them. Smart card encoders, and mag stripe encoders are added to the printer by the manufacturer. Laminated cards require a special station in the printer which should be determined before buying a printer.

4- How smart do your cards need to be?
Today's ID cards can store a variety of information. It can be as simple as an identification number on a bar code or magnetic stripe, or as sophisticated as biometric information encoded on a smart chip. Beyond security concerns, the new generation of smart cards can open doors or sign employees in and out.

5- How many cards will you need to print per year?
The average printer, like the Eltron P310 can print volumes up to 30,000 cards per year.

6- How long do you need your cards to last?
Card replacement can be a major factor in a large organization. Abrasive activities like swiping bar code or magnetic stripe card readers can wear on a card in a short period of time. With average use, a standard PVC card will last 1-2 years. You can extend that by using overlays and lamination.


Advantages of ID Card Printers

Identity cards are an important part of our daily lives. Examples include driving licenses, gym membership cards, library cards and employee id badges.

Digital card printers now make it a simple task for any sized business to produce high security, durable identity cards. The card design and artwork can be created without the need for a design agency. And the printing process is so fast that it takes a few seconds to produce a card.

The old labor intensive method of cutting, pasting and laminating an identity card is fast becoming a thing of the past. Digital printing is a one step process. The information including text, graphics and pictures are all stored on a computer, enabling a replacement card to be easily re- printed.

Security has improved. The traditional laminated method produced identity cards that were easily counterfeited or altered.

Advantages of using a digital card printer for identity cards are:
  • Quality of Photo:The quality of a traditional photograph depends on the camera or photo booth used, and only one copy is produced. A digital image is sharper and can be edited for color quality. It can be re-sized to fit the card and a copy can be saved if needed for future use.

  • Security :Security measures such as holograms, fingerprint scans, smart chips and barcodes can be integrated into digitally printed cards. The card printers apply a single or dual-sided lamination, which prevents the identity card being easily reproduced or counterfeited.

  • Durability :The lamination or 'overlay varnishes' used by digital card printers make the identity cards resistant to damage from liquids, fading from UV light exposure and damage from abrasion.

  • Cost Effective :Once the digital card printer is purchased, the material used to produce identity cards cost far less than the traditional cut/paste/laminate method, and because it is so simple to produce the cards, third party suppliers are not required.

  • Flexibility :The design software that accompanies a card printer provides the flexibility to change the card's layout, text and artwork whenever required. It can be linked to database programs to store images and card details.

  • Convenience :If changes are needed to the card content or design, identity cards can be re-printed at any time. And a single replacement identity card can be easily re-produced.